Will Selfies Boost Sales at Estee Lauder?

04/09/2019 5:00 am EST

Focus: CONSUMER

Charles Carlson

Editor, DRIP Investor

I recently returned from a 17-day trip to Asia; it was my first time to that part of the world, and it did not disappoint, recalls Chuck Carlson, income expert and editor of DRIP Investor.

Yet, when I recall the trip, the two observations that come to mind quickly are 1) people love to take pictures of themselves; and 2) demand for cosmetics is massive. It is estimated that more than a trillion photos were taken in 2018, and my guess is that estimate is on the low side.

Everywhere I went in Asia — museums, restaurants, temples, you name it — people were taking “selfies.” Indeed, you could barely take more than five steps without “photo-bombing” some person’s self-portrait.

And this isn’t just an Asia phenomenon. I see it everywhere in the U.S., too, from sporting events to the theater to music concerts. It’s a global epidemic of narcissism. In thinking how to invest in this trend, I quickly came to my second observation — cosmetics.

In the shopping areas we visited, major chunks of stores and whole malls were devoted to perfumes and cosmetics. And the aisles were packed with buyers. I suppose if you are constantly taking pictures of yourself, you want to look your best.

And that means making sure you are well-stocked when it comes to cosmetics. An attractive play on the global demand for cosmetics is Estee Lauder (EL). The company’s brands include Estée Lauder, Aramis, and Clinique.

In addition, it operates as a licensee for fragrances and cosmetics sold under the Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan New York, DKNY, Michael Kors, Tom Ford, Ermenegildo Zegna, and Tory Burch brand names.

The company’s 2019 and 2020 earnings estimates have been rising over the last 60 days. The stock is a quality play in a sector that has good growth potential. Please note that Estee Lauder offers a direct-purchase plan.  Minimum initial investment is $250.

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